Ruthie checks out the dog beach on Day One.

Ruthie may not have been born the last time Evanston had a dog beach.

But the brown rescue dog, believed by her owner to be about five years old, was one of the first dogs in the sand as Evanston re-opened its dog beach on Lake Michigan on Wednesday for the first time since 2018.

“It’s great for her,” said Joan Muller.

“She likes to get off leash and run.”

Rising lake waters had forced the dog beach to close.

Even the dog paddle was unsafe.

But pet owners can be a powerful and, need we say it, dogged and determined bunch. Their lobbying led City Council to set aside the lakefront from just south of Clark Street beach to just north of the Church Street boat launch as a sandy playground for pooches.

A dog beach pass is required to enter. Passes can be purchased at several city community centers. Proof of pet vaccination along with a pet license ($10-$15) are required in order to get a dog beach pass.

The pet pass comes with an access code which has to be punched on a keypad at the beach’s gate.

Dog owners also found that the code must be punched in order to get out of the beach, which made things a bit confusing.

However, with dog beach hours from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., some sort of access control is needed so the city does not have to station someone along the lake to … “spot” check (sorry) for proper paperwork.

And, of course, the dogs neither know nor care about any of the history nor the process of getting their play area back open.

They just had fun.

Ruthie gave the dog beach a “paws up” review.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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